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Comedy of errors ends Sharks win streak
Coyotes knock off Sharks again
1/16/19 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks followed up one of their best games of the season with undoubtedly one of their worst on Wednesday night. Playing on back to back nights, San Jose had to fly to Phoenix late Tuesday night and play less than 24 hours after knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins at SAP Center. The Sharks gave it a go, but several late gaffs cost them a chance at overcoming a single goal deficit and would eventually fall 6-3 to the host Coyotes.

The Sharks were staring at a 4-1 Coyotes lead at one point, but a pair of goals, including a 3rd period tally by Logan Couture made it a one-goal game with just under 5 minutes to play. Timo Meier flushed a comeback down the drain when he took a selfish tripping penalty with 2:13 left.

Meier was upset that Oliver Ekman-Larsson checked him off a puck with a shoulder to the head. Ekman-Larsson was not penalized, so Meier decided to take measures into his own hands by spearing the Coyotes forward behind the knee.

To make a bad decision worse, the Sharks decided to pull goaltender Aaron Dell while they held the puck behind their own net. When Erik Karlsson was pressured behind his goal, he sent a weak pass up ice that ended up on Alex Galchenyuk's stick in front of the meoty net. Galchenyuk buried the puck to end it. Josh Archibald added another empty-net goal to cap the scoring, but it was Meir's selfishness that started the snow ball that turned into a painful finish for San Jose.

Dell's night started off rough and got worse. Lawson Crouse staked the Coyotes to an early 1-0 lead on a simple shot from the left dot 2:31 into the game. Dell should have gloved the shot, but his hand was too low, which allowed the puck to pop out of the mitt and float over his shoulder and into the goal.

A hooking penalty to Nicholas Hjalmarsson setup a Sharks power play, but Brent Burns whiffed on a shot attempt on a stationary puck that allowed Richard Panik to force a turnover. Panik raced up ice uncontested and snapped a shot past Dell for the 2-0 lead. The two goals came just over 2 minutes apart.

San Jose salvaged some of the period when Kevin Labanc cut the Coyotes lead in half at 6:53. The Sharks forward accepted a Brendan Dillon pass fro the point while he was stationed at the top of the Coyotes crease with his back to the net. Labanc pivoted to his right and swept a shot past Coyote goaltender Darcy Kuemper for his 5th goal of the season.

Christian Fischer pushed the Coyotes lead back to 2 goals 5:50 into the 2nd period when his wraparound attempt his Erik Karlsson in the skate and redirected it past Dell for his 11th goal of the season.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson made it a 4-1 game at 7:50 when his shot from the top of the left circle slipped past Dell. The Coyotes had traffic in front of the Sharks net, but Dell didn't make any attempt to try and pick up the shot. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer foolishly challenged the goal for on an offside claim, but that turned out to be a fruitless attempt.

Evander Kane scored his 17th goal of the season midway through the period by taking a drop pass from Labanc in the high slot, then ripping a 40-foot shot past Kuemper. The goal should have sparked the Sharks, but they spent the last half of the period chasing their tails.

Things got interesting with 4:52 to play when Logan Couture scored his 17th goal of the season. The sharks forward ripped a shot from the top of the left circle, beating Kuemper just inside the right post.

Meier killed any shot at a comeback with his antics.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks will finish the month with three more games on the road before the All Star Break. San Jose travels to Tampa Bay where the Lightning will be waiting to avenge their loss to San Jose on January 5th.

* Erik Karlsson was a -4 on the night, but his turnover late in the game was the backbreaker.

* The comedy of errors stemmed from defensive lapses that ballooned. The poor goaltending was magnified by Burns turnover on the power play and Karlsson's back breaking turnover in the game's waning moments.

* Every Coyotes skater recorded a shot on goal except for defensemen Alex Golgoski and Ilya Lyubushkin. Arizona combined for 41 shots in the game.

* Peter DeBoer admitted that the offside challenge was ill advised, because the offside was negated after the Sharks had cleared the puck of the zone.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 1 3
ARI 2 2 2 6
1st period - 1, ARI, Crouse 7 (Kempe), 2:31. 2, ARI, Panik 10 (unassisted), 4:39, (sh). 3, SJ, Labanc 5 (Dillon, Braun), 6:53.
2nd period - 4, ARI, Fischer 11 (Lyubushkin, Weal), 5:05. 5, ARI, Ekman-Larsson 6 (Keller, Fischer), 7:50. 6, SJ, Kane 17 (Labanc), 10:15.
3rd period - 7, SJ, Couture 17 (E. Karlsson, Labanc), 15:08, (pp). 8, ARI, Galchenyuk 8 (unassisted), 18:02, (pp)(en). 9, ARI, Archibald 4 (Crouse), 19:11, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Hjalmarsson, ARI (hooking), 4:00; Donskoi, SJ (tripping), 13:26.
2nd period - Bench, SJ (delay of game), 7:50.
3rd period - Goodrow, SJ (slashing), 4:54; Fischer, ARI (slashing), 5:02; Panik, ARI (hooking), 14:48; Meier, SJ (tripping), 17:47.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Dell 39 35
SJ - empty net 2 0
ARI - Kuemper 29 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 8 8 29
ARI 17 12 12 41
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
ARI 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Christian Fischer
Mario Kempe
Attendance
Gila River Arena - 13,342
Officials
Referees: Chmielewski, Peel. Linesmen: Shewchyk, Gibbons.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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